Greek Catholic parish church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, currently out of use, Liskowate
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Greek Catholic parish church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, currently out of use

Liskowate

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The temple is one of the few surviving examples of the vernacular Boyko tserkvas in Poland. It is considered to be an example of the “simple” variant of the Boyko tserkva, representing the oldest known forms of Ruthenian wooden churches. Due to archaic forms, some researchers negate the construction date carved on the lintel (1832) and argue that it must have been erected earlier.

History

The former tserkva in Liskowate was already mentioned in 1564. The present tserkva was probably erected in 1832 (although the date might only signify a full-scale renovation) by carpentry masters Iwan Rak of Łopuszanka and Wasyl Tymczas of Liskowate. An inscription with a date and surname of the then parish priest is carved in Cyryllic alphabet on the door lintel on the south façade (Року Божіѧ АѠЛВ / Ієрєй Николай Лѣсковацкий [Anno Domini 1832 / priest Mikołaj Liskowacki]). At first, the tserkva featured an upper chapel with a gallery over the narthex (from the west). During the renovation in 1929 the western part of the tserkva underwent a far-reaching alteration (a one-storey vestibule was added and therefore, a gallery over the narthex was enclosed and reconstructed, a tented roof over the chapel was removed and replaced by gable roof common for an old chapel and a new vestibule, a bulbous steeple turret was added on the ridge of this roof), with additional transformation of tserkva roofs as well as enlarging of the nave windows. Window openings were cut out in the upper chapel and the same windows as in the nave were installed. A masonry gate-belfry has survived at the tserkva. It was probably erected in the inter-war decades. After the relocation of Ukrainian residents, in the 1950s the tserkva was passed over to Greek immigrants coming to this area (used by them for a short period of time). Then, until the 1970s, it was used as a warehouse of a local State Agricultural Farm. Therefore, it was subject to far-reaching devastation. Wall paintings and interior décor were destroyed and in the mid- 1960s, as a result of a sloppy renovation of the feature, an external gallery over the narthex along with skirt roofs in the west was demolished, a ceiling over the narthex and a musical gallery in the nave were removed. A tented roof over the upper chapel was brought back. In 1974 the feature was taken over by the Roman Catholic church. Two years later a safety renovation began. Wood shingles were replaced with new ones, damaged beams were replaced and windows were glazed. The roof over the nave and the chancel was altered. A choir gallery was installed on the western wall of the narthex and window openings of the latter were walled up. For several years the feature remained unused. In 2014 the tserkva in Liskowate was taken over from the State Treasury by the Bieszczady Branch of TONZ for three years, for the purpose of general renovation and preservation of this valuable monument.

Description

The tserkva is located in the southern part of the village, on a small hill, approx. 200 m from the Krościenko-Kuźmina road, on its northern side. There is a cemetery to the north of the tserkva. The tserkva area including a cemetery is partially surrounded by a wooden fence. A masonry gate-belfry is located in the south-western part of the fence. Relics of old tree stands are located in the vicinity of the tserkva.

The building’s body is relatively compact, despite a visible separation of narthex and nave segments, which are much taller than the chancel part. The tserkva has a tripartite arrangement; the main segments - narthex, nave, chancel - were set on floor plans similar to a square. Two rectangular sacristies are found on both sides of the chancel. They do not stand out as separate segments of the body (the chancel and sacristies are equal in width to the nave). The narthex is narrower than the nave. The log structure of the narthex includes visible traces of the second storey (entrance opening on the west façade) - remnants of the old chapel or belfry. The chancel is topped with a tall, stepped gable roof giving way at the bottom to a common skirt roof that circumscribes the entire building. An end wall, resulting from the modernisation carried out in 1976, is located in the east. The nave and narthex are covered with single-recess tented roofs.

The tserkva is made of wood and rests on a stone foundation. It was erected by applying a log structure, with logs joined by saddle notch with log ends, which protrude strongly in the upper part (rafter tails) to support purlins of a pronounced skirt roof, encircling the temple on three sides (originally running around the entire tserkva, which is attested by a measurement drawing included in a publication by M. Dragan of 1937). Above, the skirt roofs and roof slopes are covered with wood shingles; below, the log structure is exposed. Windows in the nave terminate in semicircular arches, while the sacristies feature square windows. Two rectangular entrance openings are included in the west façade: on the upper and lower storey. The south façade features a rectangular entrance to the nave with a date and surname of the then parish priest carved on the lintel.

Inside, the nave is topped with a log-based cupola ceiling, the chancel with a log ceiling, while the sacristies and the narthex feature beamed ceilings. The nave features an overhanging choir gallery with a simple parapet. The walls are devoid of wall paintings. The nave walls are reinforced in the interior by cross tension ties installed on beams of the head-piece of the nave. One of the bracing beams includes surnames of the tserkva builders carved in Polish: „Z Łopuszanki Iwan Rak Mayster tey cyrkwi i Wasyl Tymczak z Liskowatego Mayster”.

The building can only be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Ryszard Kwolek, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszow, 22-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bańkosz R., Cerkwie bieszczadzkich Bojków, Krosno 2010
  • Dragan M., Ukraińskie cerkwie drewniane, Lwów 1937
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Woj. krośnieńskie, Lesko, Sanok, Ustrzyki Dolne i okolice, opr. E. Śnieżyńska-Stolotowa i F. Stolot, Warszawa 1982
  • Kryciński S., Cerkwie w Bieszczadach, Pruszków 1995
  • Saładiak A., Pamiątki i zabytki kultury ukraińskiej w Polsce. Warszawa1993
  • Szematyzmy duchowieństwa grekokatolickiego z lat 1877, 1879, 1927, 1936, 1938-39
  • Archiwum WUOZ Delegatura w Krośnie, Karta ewidencyjna cerkwi parafialnej p.w. Narodzenia NMP w Liskowatem, oprac. B. i A. Bosakowie

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1832 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Liskowate
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district bieszczadzki, commune Ustrzyki Dolne - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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